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H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
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The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
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H. L. Mencken
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
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H. L. Mencken
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
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H. L. Mencken
The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth--that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
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H. L. Mencken
To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
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H. L. Mencken
Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.
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H. L. Mencken
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
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H. L. Mencken
We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.
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H. L. Mencken
What the meaning of human life may be I don't know: I incline to suspect that it has none.
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H. L. Mencken
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.
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H. L. Mencken, 'Prejudices: Fourth Series,' 1924
Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.
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H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
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H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949)
The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy!
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H. L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy, 1926
After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
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H. L. Mencken, on Shakespeare
There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.
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H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: Second Series, 1920

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Showing quotations 51 to 65 of 65 total.
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